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Digital Subscriptions > Gluten-Free Heaven > Gluten-Free Heaven November 2019 > Festive bakes

Festive bakes

Create classic magical treats for the whole family this Christmas…

Christmas cake

All recipe development and food photography on pages 12-15 © Stockfood, The Food Media Agency


Serves 24 or for 1 cake | Prep 45 mins plus resting | Cook 3 hrs | Calories 455 (per serving)


275g (10oz) gluten-free plain flour mix

2 tbsp cornflour

1½ tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

225g (8oz) butter, softened

200g (7oz) dark brown sugar

3 tbsp treacle, warmed

4 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten

800g (1lb 10oz) dried mixed fruits, e.g. currants, raisins, sultanas, etc.

100g (3½oz) glacé cherries, finely chopped

110g (4oz) chopped almonds

3 tbsp brandy

400g (14oz) marzipan

icing sugar, for dusting

3-4 tbsp apricot jam


500g (1lb 1oz) white fondant icing

3-4 tbsp apricot jam

gluten-free edible silver balls

1 For the cake: Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas Mark 2. Grease and line a 20cm (8in) round cake tin with greaseproof paper.

2 Sift the plain flour mix, cornflour, xanthan gum, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl. Cream together the butter and sugar in a separate bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the treacle.

3 Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between additions. Fold in the flour mixture, then add the dried fruit, cherries and almonds.

4 Spoon and scrape into the cake tin and bake for about 3 hours until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

5 Make several holes in the cake with a cake tester and drizzle over the brandy, letting it soak into the cake.

6 Place the cake on a board and roll out the marzipan to about 2cm (¾in) thickness on a surface dusted with icing sugar.

7 Warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan and brush it over the top and sides of the cake. Cut a circle of marzipan to fit the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it down flat over the edges with a pastry scraper or your hand. Cut away any excess before covering the cake and leaving to rest at room temperature for 24 hours.

8 To decorate: The next day, roll out about threequarters of the white fondant icing into a large round approximately 1cm (½in) thick on a surface dusted with icing sugar.

9 Warm the apricot jam as before in step 7, then brush it all over the marzipan.

10 Drape the white fondant icing over the marzipan, smoothing it flat over the edges. Cut away the excess at the base.

11 Roll out the remaining fondant icing to about 1cm (½in) thick on a surface dusted with icing sugar. Cut out snowflake shapes, either with a cutter or freehand with a paring knife.

12 Attach them to the top of the cake with any remaining apricot jam or some water. Decorate with silver dragee balls before slicing and serving.

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About Gluten-Free Heaven

Welcome to the Christmas issue of Gluten-Free Heaven, packed with 101 seasonal and festive recipes to keep you fully satisfied over the Christmas period. This issue we feature canapes and nibbles, festive bakes, the main meal, Boxing Day treats and if course plenty of delicious Christmas puddings. If you fancy taking the stress out of Christmas, we look at a few restaurants, hotels and even delivery box services that can take much of the work away, while if you are new to gluten-free, we show you how to make the yuletide experience a breeze by introducing simple food swaps. There are also a host of prizes to won, a 2020 month-to-view calendar, a comprehensive gift guide for all the family and a browse at some of the latest Christmas gluten-free products to hit the shelves. Merry Christmas!